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Book Review – Pagan Portals: What is Modern Witchcraft?

August, 2019

Book Review
Pagan Portals: What is Modern Witchcraft?
Anthology

“What is Modern Witchcraft?” is an anthology written by some of today’s top pagan writers. It covers subjects from Modern Solitary Witchcraft, Modern Witchcraft and the Role of Activism, Cyber Witches, Kitchen Witchcraft, Old Craft for New Generation 21st-Century Witches, and a Celtic Perspective.

Morgan Daimler is the person they chose to open this book; I find her writing to be well-thought-out and well researched. Ms. Daimler’s writing makes her seem very approachable. I would love to attend a seminar where she is speaking.

Annette George, Philip J Kessler, & Amy Ravenson, all talk about cyber witchcraft, as well as traditional. In these chapters, they talk about using files on the computer to save rituals and using social media to perform rituals with people from around the world.

One of the more compelling chapters, for me, was written by Irisanya Moon. It is the chapter on Modern Witchcraft in the Role of Activism. One of the quotes that she has in this chapter is by Carol Hanisch, whose essay written in the late 60s early 70s entitled The Personal Is Political “Personal problems are political problems. There is no personal solutions at this time. There’s only collective action for collective solution.” Ms. Moon talks in this chapter about how to become an activist and how witchcraft can help you in that calling. I found this to be very moving.

Rebecca Beattie writes a chapter on Urban Witchcraft; she talks about how hard it is to find solitude in an urban setting, finding sacred space, finding your tribe, and embracing your inner weirdo. It was that last part, embracing your inner weirdo, that spoke to me in this chapter (I’ve been known to walk into shops wearing unicorn horns to work that day doing readings.)

Arietta Bryant writes about Casting Your Own Circle. She talks about doing what feels right to you, whether that’s setting up an open circle, or book clubs, or anything that makes you feel like part of a tribe. This chapter also lists 11 jumping off points for creating your own set of Principles. (These reminded me of The Council of American Witches set of Principles of Wiccan Belief written in April of 1974.) They are great principles to guide your path forward.

Mélusine Draco’s piece is about Old Craft for a New Generation. She is another author who writes with authority and talks about matters in which she is well versed. She asks three times three basic questions that are the cornerstone of her faith. These are questions that I have to ask myself regularly because as I grow still in my craft, I learn more about the more profound the answers to these questions are.

I would say this is a book that is for anyone on the path of Paganism, not just Witchcraft. I feel that it is one that allows you to explore more of what is out there today for us compared to the old ones whose roots we grew from. I am happy that it was Trevor Greenfield who edited this book for us. But I am incredibly grateful for all those writers who contributed to this tome. Thank you for your insights.

Pagan Portals – What is Modern Witchcraft?: Contemporary Developments in the Ancient Craft on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Dawn
Borries
 loves
reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org.
Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past
25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook
page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on
Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

Review of Morrigu’s Nest on Etsy & Interview with Owner Anne Corrigan

June, 2019

Review of Morrigu’s Nest Etsy Shop Products

Morrigu’s Nest is a wonderful shop on Etsy that sells a variety of products to cover your magickal demands. Owner, Anne Corrigan, hand makes all her items from talismans & jewelry to candles & oils, there is guaranteed to be something you need or can use! Her recipes are her own secrets and she carries, in Morrigu’s Nest, many ways for you to celebrate the holidays.

This past Spring Equinox we celebrated using item’s from Morrigu’s Nest. (We only took before pictures, as our rituals are private.)

Ostara/Spring
Scented Equinox Candle

Packed
to the brim with all you need for an Ostara/Spring Equinox ritual
this easy to travel with tin held candle is very convenient. Either
for the witch on the go, or the witch in the closet who needs to hide
her magick in her bag till she can find a place to do it, this all in
one kit is a go to all inclusive ritual package! It is filled with
corresponding herbs like honeysuckle
&
orange daylilies; and crystals
like amethyst and rose quartz to name a few. The candle itself
smells like jasmine and spring blossoms. The
pure freshness of it brings thoughts of spring.

Instructions come with the
candle explaining that you are to remove the herbs and gems from the
candle before lighting. Then giving ideas on what you can use your
gemstones for. You are to imbue them with your energy, you can
arrange them around the candle, you can use them in a spell, a
bottle, a sachet, a poppet, there are so many ways. There is a
generous amount of herbs and stones given with the candle. So you
can use them in a few ways.

The
candle is 4 oz hand poured into a tin with a cover. Smooth
looking. It
burns very well. Nice scent. Clean burn. We loved using it during
our ritual. Plan to use the herbs in many ways. Plan
to use the tin, too. Right now I’m saving the herbs in them.

Ostara
Anoninting Oil

100% natural, essential oil, body potion. Loaded with herbs, flowers, oils & crystals. You can see them filling the bottle. The smell is of a sunny spring day in a meadow. The oil is light on your skin and blends in well without leaving any residue. The scent is nice and strong and will stay on you for a long period of time. It has calming scent. You can use this beautiful oil to anoint yourself for ritual and magick work, or just to wear on a beautiful spring day to remind yourself you are the magick.

Morrigu’s
Nest
, also, has ways to help you celebrate other sabbats, let’s
take a look!

Yule Scented ritual candle

Their Yule Candle smells like Yule. The herbal & crystal topping is spectacular. You can see the juniper berries, orange peel, cloves, and so much more. The crystals shimmer. The aroma is warming and of spiced fruits and wood.

In the instructions Morrigu’s Nest is clear to state, many times, to remove the herbs and crystals before burning your candle. I wanted to show you how the candle looks without the herbs. Here is the herbs in a bowl. You can see there is a good amount of herbs and stones to work with in spells and a nice 4oz full candle in the tin. It is 100% natural wax.

Yule herb blend

Another wonderful product to
help celebrate Yule is their Yule herbal blend. It is a potent blend
of corresponding herbs, botanicals, spices, barks, & roots.
Morrigu’s Nest
has used over a dozen ingredients in her special Yule Winter Recipe.
Some ingredients include: bay laurel, cinnamon bark, yew leaves,
coriander, and much more.

This is intended for magickal
use only, NOT culinary. You man NOT eat this. There are warnings
that come with the package. The ingredients were chosen for their
magickal correspondences only. It is suggested to burn it in small
amounts as the scent may be over powering in large quantities and may
not smell the same when burned.

You get 4oz in a resealable
pouch, which is great. You can keep it fresh! It smells wonderful,
woodsy. You pick up the cinnamon and juniper right away. It is good
to use simply as a magickal Yule potpourri filled with your wishes &
intent for everyone! Give a little sachet maybe to everyone with a
gift? To keep in their homes. A little goes a long way with the
scent & the blessing.

Samhain
Set

This set comes in a Gold Gauze
bag, a peek-a-boo presentation of witchie delights. All of it’s
contents are addressed on explanation documents that arrive with your
set. It’s a long bag & sticking my hand in I just grab for the
firs thing I feel. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the
bag…

An herbal Samhain blend

An
herbal blend for Samhain, much like the one for Yule. It is meant to
be used for magick or an incense. However, this one includes such
herbs as rosemary,
wormwood, mugwort, and
others. You receive 1oz of 100% natural herbal blend. The smell is
lovely, but I must admit, it is not as strong as the Yule blend. I
like the Yule blend a bit more, but that is just MY taste.

Dressed
Scented Samhain

Black
Tin Candle & Orange Tin Candle

These two candles are
beautiful. They shine with glitter and smell glorious! Each a
different aroma & color. If I have to guess and say what they
smell like I would say the orange one has a more fall smell to it.
They typical fall smelling candle. The ones you just love to get
when it’s that time of year! The black candle smells more, I can
not explain why, but like night to me. Like a sweet night. On the
breeze. Oh so dreamy! Plus you have all the Samhain corresponding
herbs on top to work with.

Bottle
of Witches Black Salt

Morrigu’s Nest has included an important tool in this Samhain kit…Black Salt. For those how have never used Black Salt before it is used in workings for protection, banishing, curses, hex breaking, uncrossings, etc… It is a great item witches should have in their cupboards for defending themselves.

Morrigu’s Nest recipe is NOT just colored salt. She uses all natural ingredients and NO DYES. She has her own recipe she has formulated of a powerful blend of protective and banishing herbs, roots, seeds, & combined them with ashes from her Samhain ritual fire and sea salt. Then using energy and intense visualization she imbued the intention of protection and fiery defense as she pulverized these ingredients into almost a powder. It is a very fine powder and not the usual chunks of black salt you will find at shops. I like this because a little goes a long way.

After explaining more of her method of making her Black Salt at Morrigu’s Nest, she goes on to explain safe ways to use it, including a spell. I found that very handy. I like knowing how it was made. Her secret recipe. Suggestions are always helpful.

4
Thieves Vinegar

Four
Thieves Vinegar is an ingredient found in Hoodoo & folk magic
spells. The recipe has evolved from Western Europe, around the
fifteenth century. Their are many legends about it. The common string
among them is that there was a horrible plague in a village, and the
only people who survived were four thieves. Each of them contributed
one ingredient to a jar of vinegar and garlic, they drank it, and
somehow survived the plague uninjured. Since they were healthy and
everyone else was dying, the four thieves went around the town and
robbed the empty houses. Eventually they were caught, and sentenced
to hanging, but they were able to escape the gallows by sharing their
secret formula. Whether this is true or not is anyone’s guess.
Four Thieves Vinegar is a useful item to keep on hand because it can
be used in a wide variety of spells, from healing to protection to
banishing. I have never worked with this stuff before, but I look
forward to it.

Morrigu’s Nest version is made with herbs that correspond to protection & banishing. It claims to be very potent. It warns you to NOT INGEST on the bottle boldly. The papers that come with it suggest how you are to use it and state it is toxic!

Samhain ritual oil

Samhain essential oil, 100% natural, body oil. Comes in a .33 oz glass roller ball applicator bottle. It’s a unisex scent of autumn mostly cinnamon & orange. Very fragrant. Lovely smell. Definitely unisex. Morrigu’s Nest says they oils were chosen based on folklore magickal correspondences as well as their aroma therapeutic traits. It also has notes of patchouli, cedarwood, and other scents. It lasts a long time on the skin and blends in well.

Samhain
Gemstone Clip-On Charm

Genuine gemstones frame a
pretty, bronze, large triquetra charm on a sturdy clip. I actually
pulled on it, cause I can be a jerk like that, to see if it would
fall apart easily. It didn’t! I thought it would. I am glad it
didn’t because it is so lovely. The suggestion is to wear it on
your backpack, bag, purse, handbag, planner, key ring or belt loop.
You can use this in your ritual wear, or keep it as your everyday
spiritual reminder. The paper it comes with tells you exactly what
stones are on the keychain. It does not tell you what they mean, but
it tells you they were selected intentionally to correspond with
Samhain. It’s easy to look up stones, however, if you do not know
the meanings off hand.

How
about when it’s not a sabbat & you just need supplies?? Well
Morrigu’s Nest
has them for you!

Prosperity
Candle spell kit

Just like all their sabbat
candles, this tin is all you need for a wonderful spell. The
prosperity candle spell kit comes with all you need to cast your
spell. Filled to the top with all the herbs & crystals you will
need to cast and a 4oz candle in a tin that you can travel with.

You can see from the picture
you are given plenty of herbal & crystal supplies with your
candle for your spell. Plus you get a sheet with your kit explaining
exactly what is in your candle, what it’s scent it, how it was
made, precautions, and ideas on how to use it! Burn time is approx
25 hours. The smell is springtime greenery, woodsy, & lightly
floral. I love the sparkles on the candle. It adds some flare.

Rosemary Mint herbal bath soak

I would like to lick this it
smells sooo good! You can see the herbs in the salt. The salt is
unlike the usual bath salts you find, it is a fine texture and I love
it!!! Instead of rocks in the tub its a fine grain that blends in
and just rolls over your body and purifies you as the scent cleanses
your mind. I can not recommend this soak more!!!! The relaxation is
blissful!

Protect & Purify herbal ritual salt

For use during your sacred circle casting or for purification rituals. This herbal salt was ground with intention to form a powder-like blend & Morrigu’s Nest used traditional protective and cleansing herbs. She pulverized these ingredients into almost a powder.
Even though it is salt it is not edible and comes with a big DO NOT EAT warning. The salt is so fine and a little goes a long way. The container is packed to the tippy top so you have tons in the packed 4oz bottle.

Bring
the Green

This bottle of green powder is for use in prosperity, abundance & money spells and rituals. You can burn it, keep it in your wallet, make poppets, and sooo much more with it. Morrigu’s Nest has so many suggestions for its use. It has ingredients like allspice, vervain, basil, marjoram, and so much more in it! Its 2oz and finely ground, so a little bit goes a long way. The bottle is filled to the top. No space for anything. The smell is minty to me. I can’t wait to use it! Maybe carry some in my pocket.

Faery
Sight ritual Oil

A 2oz, 100% natural anointing
oil, essential blend, inundated with beautiful herbs and flowers!
Not so much that there is no oil, but you see them floating
beautifully like a garden. Lovely lavender! Rose! To me it has a
slight lemony scent to it. A freshness. It’s suggested you anoint
your crystals, and thirdeye, & candles with it. Anything to
attract fae to you. I can definitely see fae being attracted to this
oils ingredients & scent. I would definitely invest in the
larger bottles so you can see the herbs and flowers in the bottle.
Worth it!

Love & Romance herbal blend

This powder is for use in
love, romance, & lust magick. It was pulverized with intention
and a blend of herbs & botanicals was used for love and romance
magick. The bottle is 2oz and finely ground and filled to the top.
A little with this goes a long way! It has ingredients like rose
petals, hibiscus, dill, & so much more! The smell is so pretty.

She
sends information with all her packages explaining the ingredients of
the items, direction on how they are supposed to be used, and ideas
on how to use them. I
love the glitter, the flare to the candles. Everything has such
gorgeous, strong smells, that are not overwhelming and blend nicely.
The oils scents stay on your skin and do not fade quickly.
Everything
is made of great quality & care. The warnings are in bold and
mentioned over and over for safety.

Vervain
Protection Amulet

This is one of my favorite items in the Morrigu’s Nest catalog. It is gorgeous way to wear something we can all use a little something extra of everyday…protection. I think putting the half crescent moon, antique brass finish, moon charm on a simple silky, black cord allows the pendant to stand out more as the art piece it is. Giving the corked, spell bottle that square on the side eye-hook is just the perfect touch! The spell bottle is filled, packed tightly & permanently sealed with hand ground vervain that is imbued with intent of protection of wearer. The moon worn sideways & in this phase was chosen to represent The Crone, The Wise One, the Grandmother Moon. It is meant …”to represent the energy of the wise greandmother that loves and protects you and gives you her wisdom as she guides you on your path.”

Whatever you think it means to
you it does. I kinda got an Egyptian vibe from it. Soon as I saw
it, and Isis wings. May it be who it will for you & protect you
always!

Another set of items I found to be wonderful and helpful at Morrigu’s Nest were their Intention Bottles…

Intuition & divination

You can see this is a really decent size bottle here. We are not talking tiny little bottle to wear. It is almost 2 inches long. So it really has room in there! It comes with a label that tells you all the ingredients like: mugwort, wormwood, flaxseeds, labradorite, amethyst, and more. You can see and make out many of the ingredients. It is securely sealed. It is filled enough to give you just a touch of room to shake it to revitalize it. It arrives in its own gauze baggie. It comes with an explanation note from Morrigu’s Nest stating that it is …”ritually crafted with the intention of evoking and aiding.”

I am about to take on learning
tarot. Runes were my thing, or so I thought. The tarot is calling…
So this is what I chose to be my aid in the process. I have felt
protected by my other pendant, I believe this will aid me.

Self-Confidence

This bottle is the same size
as the other Intention Bottle. Made, ritually, in the same way.
However, its contents are different, for its purpose. Inside it
holds ingredients, such as; dill, turmeric, citrine, fennel seeds,
basil, & more. All for boosting your self-confidence.

It’s lively right? I found
that interesting. Like a punch of color…a punch to your system,
that boost you need. Well, I have been carrying this bottle on me
all day. I would shake it now and then for extra bursts, hold on to
it when I felt I was struggling a little more. Today was one of
those days! It would help me focus. Remind myself to breathe.
Everything inside is bonus to my self-confidence help. Plus the
magic of the intention that was lent to it & mine because I pray
over my things.

Courage
& protection

Just like the previous bottles this, almost 2 inch glass, filled and securely sealed bottle is filled with its own goodies, like: thyme, black pepper, black tourmaline, red jasper, & more. All of which you can clearly read on a removable label that comes attached to its cord.

I
used this bottle on my journey of change. I took it to battle
really. We all have fears we need to overcome. I have plenty. We
went on a hike. I do not like traveling into the forest for too long
or too deeply. It is a personal fear. I know we are on a path. I
know we can turn around. But I still have my fears. I decided to
start making changes in life and facing some fears is one of them.
This bottle and I hiked over 3.5 miles today in the forest. We
weathered panic. We embraced joy. We overcame… with each other.
Every bit helps.

My
Overall Thoughts…

I am so amazed by the workmanship, quality, inspiration, detail, and love put into every item I have reviewed from Morrigu’s Nest. Not one item has disappointed me. Every bottle is packed to the brim with quality ingredients. You can smell the herbs. The candles, well, they are brilliant spell kits in themselves. They come with the herbs and gems you will need, and you get the tin after. The amount you get for your money is fantastic. I love that it is their own recipes & handmade, not something I am going to find in every witch shop. My favorite piece, that I have not taken off is the Vervain Protection Amulet. I may feel a little too protected by it, thinking I’m supergirl!

We were lucky enough to get a chance to speak with the proprietress of Morrigu’s Nest & creatrix of all things wonderful within, Anne Corrigan.

Jennifer
Wright (JW): Hello Anne, It is such a pleasure to meet you!

 I
want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me and our readers
about yourself, your company, and your process…speaking of your
process, where do your ideas come from?  Like your gorgeous
Protection Pendant!  I think its trendy enough to wear and get
away with magick.  LOL!

Anne
Corrigan (AC):
Hi Jenn! Thank you so much for reaching out to me,
I truly feel honored to have my shop reviewed by you. And thank you
and your husband Benjamin for all the work you’ve done to birth
PaganPages.org. Your site is a wonderful resource and nourishes the
pagan community; thank you!

My
inspiration comes from communing with my deities, spirit guides,
scrying, shamanic journeying and trance, magickal folklore,
connecting with nature, and hanging with my witchy friends. All these
muses revisit me during my daydreams and thunderstorms in my head
which I credit to my Attention Deficit Disorder, LOL! Sometimes it’s
like popcorn popping in my brain. The downside to that is that it’s
hard for me to focus on developing one product at a time and it’s a
challenge to bring everything to fruition.

 I
do make some products that could be considered staples of a magickal
path that are similar to other companies’ products. The difference
is that I really strive to make my offerings unique by putting my own
twist on the traditional standbys. At the moment I am working on my
own Florida Water recipe. I am also preparing DIY witchcraft project
kits for witch ladders, spell bottles, and spirit dolls. I love
crafting and making things with my hands. I also want to empower
others to create their own sacred objects by providing the raw
materials and instructions (coming soon). That way they can really
imbue them with more of their magickal energy. I’m glad you like
the Protection Pendant! Thank you for the compliment! I like the idea
of magick incognito under the guise of fashion, LOL!

JW:
Thank you so much for your kind words about PaganPagesOrg, it really
touches our heart!

You
mention that you use your own secret recipes, are they family
recipes?  Will you be passing your recipes down?

AC:
Well, my recipes are not completely secret, I do disclose the
ingredients in my listings, especially anything that is applied to
the skin, such as essential oil blends and ritual bath salts. As for
other items, such as, herbal blends, ritual salts, potions, and
vinegars, I don’t list every little detail. Even when using
traditional recipes for inspiration, I always tweak them based on my
intuition, research, and communicating with the spirits of the
plants. My recipes are mine alone, I was raised Catholic, and I have
no idea if there were any pagans or witches in my ancestral line. I
am planning on passing a grimoire down to my daughter. I may also
publish a spell recipe book in the future.

JW:
I really love how your Black Salt is a finer grain then you usually
find with black salts.  Why did you decide to go with this
grain?

AC:
 I wanted to create a versatile and energy packed black salt.
It’s versatile because you can take a pinch in your hand and blow
it at your target, discreetly sprinkle some around your workplace,
home car, anywhere really. Also, the main reason that I pulverized my
black salt is that the process of grinding it allows me to raise
energy while I enchant it with my intent and I believe that when I
use my mortar and pestle to grind and blend the herbs, salts, roots,
seeds, and ashes (I use ashes from our Samhain fires), that the
spirits of the plants are evoked and combine their energies with
mine. We work together to create magick.

In
order to attain such a fine grain, I grind the ingredients first by
hand and then again with a motorized grinder. However, because the
grain is like a powder, sometimes it clumps together and you have to
stick a skewer in the bottle to break it up. Everything in the recipe
is natural. I don’t add black dye; the color comes from the ashes.
My black salt is also a little different because of its unique scent
which I attribute to the ground fennel seeds and ginger root. Every
year after Samhain, I create a new batch and change the recipe a
little bit.

JW:
When you are working/creating, do you have your own special sacred
space?

AC:
Wherever I am creating is sacred space, because I create sacred
space by connecting with my spiritual allies and focusing my
intentions. I imbue my products with my energy and intention for the
highest good of the owner. I do have a working altar that I perform
rituals and spells on and a devotional altar dedicated to The
Morrigan where I pray and give offerings as well as charge products
that are specifically dedicated to The Morrigan. Much of my product
crafting takes place in my kitchen for practical reasons. I do have
special magickal wooden spoons and wands that I have dedicated each
one for specific tasks such as candle making, potion stirring, and
mixing herbal blends and salts.

J):
Are there other workers in your company or do you work alone? 
Do you hand package & ship your products yourself?

AC: For the most part it is just me. I have a friend who is a Druid that creates some of the ritual bath products for my shop. Her brand is called Blue Moon Sundries. I make my own labels and hand package everything myself. I would like to hire a graphic designer in the future to create some nice labels for my products. For now, I do it myself because I rather invest money in quality raw materials. It’s more important to me to have what’s inside the packaging to be of the highest quality than looking pretty. I really admire other people’s labels though, some are so beautiful, and I get a bit envious, LOL! Morrigu’s Nest is a micro-business, but who knows, one day I might have a crew. I would love that!

(W:
How did you start your company, what brought about the idea, did you
feel the pagan community was
missing something?

AC:
In 2014 I opened my Etsy shop and named it Phoenix Serendipity.
At that time I didn’t have a plan other than to have an outlet for
my creativity and to make a little money to support my crafting
habit. When I would make myself a witchcraft tool or altar decor item
I would make one for my shop as well. In the beginning my shop was
only a hobby.

When I was claimed by The Morrigan I renamed my shop
Morrigu’s Nest. I do feel the need to make it clear that my shop is for everyone regardless of their spiritual tradition and not only devotees of The Morrigan. By naming my shop after The Morrigan it is my public declaration of my devotion to her, a reminder to myself of my commitment. My motivation for my shop now is to empower others in their craft by offering a convenient way to access quality supplies, tools, and sacred objects.

The
one aspect of my shop that has remained consistent is my commitment
to serving my customers the best I can! I realize that there are many
other shops to choose from, especially on Etsy, and I feel honored
when people buy my creations.

I
am in the process of developing new items and one of my goals is to
create DIY kits such as witch ladders, spirit dolls, and spell
bottles. These kits will contain all the parts needed along with
instructions. I want to serve our community by giving people a way to
craft their own tools/sacred objects. That way they have an
opportunity to add more of their personal energy into them. I feel
these new products can encourage personal sovereignty and
self-empowerment.

JW:
Do you mind if I ask, what type of path you follow?

AC:
I am a daughter of The Morrigan. I also am dedicated to Cernunnos. My
path is very eclectic though and I combine aspects of multiple pagan
paths and practices that resonate with me. My spirituality is always
evolving, growing, and I am continuously learning. I practice
solitarily as well as with a group. I consider myself a neo-pagan
witch.

JW:
What are some of your other hobbies & interests?

AC:
Anything creative! I just love experimenting with all types of
craft supplies. My group of pagan friends get together about monthly
to work on “witchy-crafts.” Just yesterday they came over and we
each made a set of clay moon phases. I also love learning about
herbs, both magickally and medicinally. I also have become interested
in foraging and wild crafting. I feel nourished when I just sit among
the trees, or visit the river, or stroll through the woods. I also
like drumming, although I struggle with rhythm, I just love the
energy of it. Chanting and raising energy with my friends around the
fire pit brings me joy. I also enjoy shamanic journeying while
listening to live drumming. I am drawn to all modes of divination,
especially fire and black mirror scrying. I want to start studying
tarot too. I also am interested in developing my ability to
communicate with spirits, mediumship, and assisting those in need of
crossing over.

When
not doing these things, I’m hanging out with my hubby listening to
him practice bass and guitar, watching movies, or hanging with family
and friends.

Jennifer,
thank you so much for interviewing me. This was my first interview
ever, and I feel very honored and grateful. May your path be
abundantly blessed!

JW:
Anne, THANK YOU for taking the time to answer my questions for our
readers & sharing about, not only your shop, but yourself. I
loved learning about both!

If you are interested in any of the items I’ve reviewed you can find them on Morrigu’s Nest page, plus many other wonderful items. You can contact Morrigu’s Nest through any of the links below:

Etsy shop

Shop FB page

Anne Corrigan personal FB page

Instagram

Email[email protected]

Anne Corrigan of Morrigu’s Nest is offering our readers only a special 30% off coupon, good through the month of May. Use Coupon Code: PAGANPAGES to receive 30% off your purchase!!!

***

About
the Author:

Jennifer
Wright
is
a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded
PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving Pagans a platform to share and
learn without judgment.

She loves to create in her spare time and you can find her Creations, Jewelry, & Magickal Witch Bottles at: www.facebook.com/TwistedWitchesShoppe/

When not creating she can be found strolling around FB, Twitter, & Instagram looking for an interesting conversation. She’s the moderator of a FB Group called Cyber Moon Coven Of Changes and enjoys spending time with it’s members.

Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

June, 2019

June
2019 for Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

Bright
Blessings!

I
write this on the 18 of May, and it is above 80 degrees, and feels
and smells like Summertime already! I can hardly believe how fast the
Wheel of the Year is turning!

I
could write a lot about which plants are doing what, but I thought it
would be better to show you. I decided I would focus on planting as
much on the patio as possible this year, and you can see that is
going very well. Raised beds are a great favorite of mine! I proudly
share my photos.

In
the front, you can see things are JUST beginning. I put in seeds,
some of which have sprouted, and I am excited to see them come along!
I bought more seeds also. I am not done planting yet! By this time
next month, it will be Summer Solstice, and the plants will be even
bigger, the days even longer, and the weather, even warmer.

Summer Solstice

For
many, Summer Solstice is about festivals, cookouts, and road trips.

Not
for those who practice the Old Ways, though. It falls when day is
longest, and night is shortest, and it celebrates the sun at the
height of its power. To emulate that, traditionally, in the British
Isles, bonfires burn day and night in some places to give more power
and strength to the sun. Torchlight processions, to further give the
sun power can be seen to this day, although most celebrants are
Xtianized and just do the rituals as matter of tradition.

Golowan

One
thing I will focus on is the festival of Golowan, which is well done,
and well attended.

Here is a link to one of the event listings: GolowanFestival.org

Here
is a video where you can see how much fun everybody is having! Here
you hear the marching band, and see the street dancing. I partook of
similar observances for a different celebration in Mexico. Let me
tell you, nothing is quite as much fun as a street procession and
dance!

These
are their versions of St. John’s Eve celebrations. Catholic
tradition has it that St John was born 6 months before Jesus, so his
feast day is right at 6 months before Christmas. So from June 21-June
30, various towns have a Golowan at Midsummer.

Historically,
Golowan had been outlawed due to so many fires being used, and the
increasing price of insurance being a strain on townships. But that
all changed in 1991 when Penzance in the UK resurrected it. Other
towns followed suit, and it’s now a major cultural celebration
again.

Things
you will see besides the street dancing and music include amazing
food, costumes, and a form of costumed beast called the Penglaz, or
‘Obby Oss’. Winter celebrations see a similar costumed performer
toting along a horse’s skull on a pole, and the name “Obby Oss”
supposedly means hobby horse.

This
is done because there is much revivalism currently. People have
decided to reclaim old folk traditions for themselves. Our culture
makes us who we are, and many never forget that. Here is a video of
the Obby Oss! This is a night procession complete with band and
torches. It’s so beautiful! Note the reveler joining in on his or
her scooter!

Many
Neo Pagan celebrations in the States include outdoor ritual, and
potlucking someplace nice like a yard or park. As few of us rely on
our own gardens or farms for our food, the significance of giving the
sun power so it can make things grow is not on the forefront of our
minds for the most part. Like the Golowan celebrations, it’s about
joy, frolicking, and gathering in good weather.

But,
if you are like me, and you are a plant lover, Summer is what you
dream of and look forward to on cold days. While doing your garden,
you plan next year’s, and you are always gathering supplies from
soil to seeds, and learning all you can to improve.

Another
thing we, as Pagans work to cultivate, is our knowledge base. I would
like to share with you a very good book , a bit of info about the
author, and a free link to read the whole publication online as my
Summer Solstice gift to you!

Magick
Without Tears

When
my Priest assigned this book, I rolled my eyes. I have a lot of
respect for Aleister Crowley, aka The Wickedest Man Alive aka The
Beast! But I am not Ceremonial Magician, and I have no plans to be. I
prefer to focus more on ancient history than modern things, and I’d
rather read about something the Vikings did than something a man
wrote close to a century ago.

I
always do what Lord Shadow says, and I always learn why he wants me
to do what he does.

In
this particular case, I read a great book which not only defined a
lot of things in Crowley’s words, but this revealed an intimate
portrait of Crowley, himself.

The
book was not a book perse when it was first written, but a collection
of letters he wrote to his student. In the Forward to the Hermetic
Library’s free online link to the book, Karl J Germer tells us
Crowley met a gal in 1943 who wanted to learn from him, and he sent a
series of letters to her. He saved many letters, and they were
published together as Magick Without Tears after his death.

The
free link where you can read the whole thing is here:

Free Copy

If
you prefer an actual book you can hold in your hands to read, I
recommend buying it here:

Magick Without Tears on Amazon

The
book was first published in 1954, and the beloved publishers
Llewellyn did another edition in 1973. Two other editions, one in
1982, and finally one edited by the illustrious Israel Regardie was
published in 1991.

Who
Crowley was specifically, in the simplest of terms was a highly
influential occultist who believed it was his responsibility to bring
us all into what he called the Aeon of Horus.

Born
in 1875 to Plymouth Brethren Xtians, Crowley was blessed with their
wealth, and used it to promote his religion, Thelema, and travel
around the World.

Thelema
specifically taught magic, mysticism, and magick, which is anything
you do to conform with your Higher Will. The Higher Will is much more
than the mundane will. It makes you YOU, and that which is your basic
purpose to being. From what I have been told, anything can be magick,
even taking a shower, if it goes towards your goal. The spelling
“magick” , however, is used by a lot of mainstream authors and
groups to denote anything besides parlor tricks, and is not the
proper use of the spelling at all.

“Do
what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Crowley wrote.
Meaning that everything you do in life ought to go towards your
Higher Will. Or as Lord Shadow says “It doesn’t mean do whatever
the hell you want to!” It is also where Wicca gets “the “Do
what thou wilt” from “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

Crowley
is actually responsible to some extent for Wicca in general. We all
know Uncle Gerald Gardner was highly influenced by the writings of
Margaret Alice Murray, taking her word for it that the witch trials
were persecution of the Pre Xtian Pagan religions in Europe. What
many don’t know is Gardner claimed he got a charter from Crowley to
start a Ceremonial Magic temple, and we will never know whether that
was one of Uncle Gerald’s tall tales or not.

What
we DO know is he founded Wicca, promoted it, and became the first
face of it.

He
borrowed more than the “Do what thou wilt” from Crowley.

For
example- Magical tools used in Thelema include a circle drawn on the
ground to operate within, a dagger, grimoires, wands, and pentacles.
Gardner stated his practice was old pre Xtian, but nothing like any
of this has been found in archaeological digs within temples or
sacred sites. It’s all found in Thelema, and Gardner was highly
influenced by Crowley.

It
is entirely fair to say without Crowley, there would have been no
Wicca, even though he was not an active participant in hand crafting
it.

Earlier,
I stated much of who Crowley was is revealed in these personal
letters. For example, one can tell he fussed over his students, but
expected them to do further reading. For example, in chapter XXXIV,
The Tao, he refers to The Book of the Law, which he expected her to
have a copy of, and full knowledge of, He writes, “ The
Book of the Law

states the doctrine of Tao very succinctly: “…thou hast no right
but to do thy will.  Do that, and no other shall say nay. 
For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of
result, is every way perfect.” (AL I, 42-44)” Further evidence he
expected her to know much, as well as grab her books he fully
expected her to have on hand is farther down in this chapter, when
he writes of other topics to use as an example. He writes, “ You
are familiar with the Four Powers of the Sphinx, attributed by the
Adepts of old time to their Four Elements.  Air is to Know,
Scire; Fire is to Will, Velle; Water is to Dare, Audere; and Earth is
to Keep Silence, Tacere.  But now that a fifth Element, spirit,
is generally recognized in the Qabalah, I have deemed it proper to
add a Fifth Power corresponding: to Go, Ire.  (Book
of Thoth
,
p. 275)

In
other sections, you can see Crowley’s beliefs, which influenced
what he did. For example, in chapter number XIX, titled “The Act of
Truth”, here is what Crowley says to do:

“Analysed,
it is to make the assumption that something which seems very wrong is
actually all right, that an eager wish is an accomplished fact. a
reasonable anxiety, entirely unfounded—and to act accordingly.

For
instance, I’m in some desolate place, dependent for my food supply on
a weekly messenger. If he is a day late, it is awkward; if two, it
means hardship; if three, serious risk. One is naturally anxious as
the day approaches; perhaps the weather, or some similar snag, makes
it likely that he will be late. From one cause or another, I have
rather exceeded my ration. There is nothing I can do about it,
materially.

The
sensible course of action is to draw in my horns, live on the
minimun, necessary to life, which
involves cutting the day’s work down to almost nothing
,
and hope for the best, expecting the worst.

But
there is a Magical mode of procedure. You say to yourself: I am here
to do this Work in accordance with my true Will. The Gods have got to
see to it that I’m not baulked by any blinking messenger. (But take
care They don’t overhear you; They might mistake it for Hybris, or
presumption.  Do it all in the Sign of Silence, under the aegis
of Harpocrates, the “Lord of Defence and Protection”; be careful
to assume his God-form, as standing on two crocodiles. Then you
increase your consumption, and at the same time put in a whole lot of
extra Work. If you perform this “Act of Truth” properly, with
genuine
conviction that nothing can go wrong, your messenger will arrive a
day early, and bring an extra large supply. “

I
have been told there were times Crowley had spent all of his money,
and could not afford to buy pen , ink, and paper, so it is obvious
this, like any spellwork or magical or magickal operation has to be
done properly and with much forethought. All I am saying is when I
was at my lowest anxiety, I not only had friends nearby to help
comfort me, but I KEPT on telling myself “Everything is fine. It is
all okay. “ I was a basketcase, but I made it through. I used this
magical operation to get through.

Sometimes,
we literally tell ourselves the absolute worst, and just have to tell
ourselves the best to get through whatever we are dealing with. This
worked for me.

Crowley’s
eccentricity also comes through in a chapter that has been written
off as complete baloney by experts. He was said to have thought very
highly of himself, and been quite flamboyant. It showed in chapter
number V- The Universe 0=2 Equation.

He
writes:

“Q.
Ah, but what we started to do was discover the meaning of Nothing
It is not correct to write it simply as 0; for that 0 implies an
index 01,
or 0{2},
or 0n.
And if our Nothing is to be absolute Nothing, then there is not only
no figure, but no index either. So we must write it as 00.

What
is the value of this expression? We proceed as before; divide.

00
= 0n-n
= 0n
÷ 0n
= (0n
÷ 1) × (1 ÷ 0n).
Of course 0n
÷ 1 remains 0; but 1 ÷ 0{n} = ?.

That
is, we have a clash of the “infinitely great” with the
“infinitely small;” that knocks out the “infinity” (and
Advaitism with it!) and leaves us with an indeterminate but finite
number of utter variety. That is: 00
can only be interpreted as “The Universe that we know.”

R.
So much for one demonstration. Some people have found fault with the
algebra; but the logical Equivalent is precisely parallel.”

I
am sorry, but Crowley does not provide good mathematics here, as was
even stated in footnotes, where it was called “bogus math”.

I
joked to my Priest that Crowley must have been tripping on one of the
drugs he was not ashamed to say he used, and indeed, his COPD and
asthma was treated with heroin, which he was likely using at the time
he wrote this letter.

As
Neo Pagans, we are blessed today with a plethora of publications
available in libraries, bookstores, and for free online. Back in
Crowley’s day, the knowledge truly was more “hidden”, and you
really had to look hard to find it, spend a lot more money than we do
today, and keep it quiet what you were participating in.

Today,
enjoy this amazing book free on the Internet at the link I provided.

Saoirse’s Summer Solstice Celebration

I
always include a working in my articles.

This
month, in the spirit of Crowley, who was VERY true to himself, and
the revelry at Golowan, I want you to hit a festival or other
gathering when the weather is nice and eat, drink, dance, sing, and
be merry. That’s what it is all about. The sacredness of BEING
amidst the others who are happy to be alive and groove with the
beautiful weather is celebration enough. I can’t think of any
better way to connect to the old gods, the old ways, and the earth,
than to just be out in it having a good time doing what makes you
happiest.

Let my worship be within the heart that rejoicest, 
for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. 
Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, 
power and compassion, honor and humility, 
mirth and reverence within you. “

Blessed
Solstice.

Blessed
Be!

***

About
the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Crone’s Corner

June, 2019

We
are All Pollinators

Every
few years I retreat for reasons all my own, in order to take
inventory, if you will, of my progression, my journey, and my life.
It is never an easy time for me; it usually precedes autumn, as I
begin to feel the decay of the annual plants, as the leaves are
touched by subtle shades of reds and yellows before ultimately
falling to the ground in this beautiful New England scenery.
Reminiscent of my own spiritual death and rebirth, I take this
emotional and mental inventory. It doesn’t happen every year, not
any more; now it happens when things become balanced and stagnation
begins to set in. Am I surrounding myself with challenging
intellect, am I here for a reason that is worthy, was I spared the
finality of the cancer for something more than all of this, what is
it, really, that I must do here?

I
have changed my pace a little, spring is budding forth with so many
opportunities, so many beautiful and blossoming ideas, and as I chase
away the dark period, this time around, it brings me to thinking
about going out on this limb of understanding and having my day of
reckoning. You see, a number of years ago I had an illness that the
majority of women who are diagnosed with die in relatively short
order. Yet, here I sit, defying all medical odds, healthy as the
proverbial horse. I don’t ask “Why” in the face of my Matron,
instead, I ask “What shall I do now, Mother?” and I await Her
responses, which tend to come in ominous signs and morbid symbolic
gestures. This time, it was ultimately revealed that Mother Nature’s
hand is in all things. Then the word came…it was just two
words…Pollinator and Blossom! And there I went, off on a tangent
of thinking of the similarities of the pollinators of the world and
the role of the blossoms. Then came the big reveal!!!! We are ALL
pollinators and we all experience the blossoms in our own way. While
it doesn’t matter which kind of pollinators we are, we each have a
value in this community, and we must allow the blossoms to open up
fully to be appreciated by all, for the greater good.

We
go from place to place, shedding light, asking painful questions,
allowing others to see themselves truly, for perhaps the first time
in their lives, taking a harsh look at our own agendas. We are some
times here for a season, and sometimes for a lifetime, but ALWAYS and
in all ways for a reason. Pollinators. There are hummingbirds,
playful and lively, flitting from blossom to blossom, extracting
nectar and seeming to stand still in mid-flight. The hummingbirds
are shy creatures who would rather not be touched, seemingly arriving
out of thin air and, in an instant, they are gone. The defense
mechanism of a hummingbird is its swift flight, away from danger and
on to the next blossom. Then there are wasps, extracting pollen,
buzzing gracefully from bloom to bloom in swift, yet languid flight.
The wasp will defend its position with a mighty sting without
warning. Both of these beings are quite valuable in the life of the
blossom; allowing for growth, seeking the sweetness within and
extracting from it the purest essence.

If
I liken this simile to my own experiences, I have come to know many
hummingbirds. Seemingly elusive, never letting any one very close
for very long, flitting about pollinating blossoms with a quiet
reassurance and moving along to the next. They seemingly stand still
as they extract the sweetness of life, yet their wings are working
overtime to keep them moving along on their journey. I have also
come to know many wasps, flying around with graceful fluidity and
self assurance, extracting the sweetness of life with an
ever-vigilant eye toward any predators, waiting and ready to stink in
defense of their territory. Two very different creatures, yet
pollinators, the symbiotic relationship between the pollinator and
the blossom is a wonder! We need them all, the blossoms, the
hummingbirds and the wasps. They all have value.

I
know a few hummingbirds; some of them are friends and acquaintances.
I know a few wasps; some of them are friends and acquaintances. We
are all pollinators. I am a pollinator too; but the most important
thing of all is to recognize that we all have value.

***

About
the Author:

Shirley
Lenhard
has
been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New
England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal
field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of
South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life
by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook
group “Pagan
Plannertarium
” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans
to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers
and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and
The Peace Paper.

Book Review – The Mirror of Magic: A History of Magic in the Western World by Kurt Seligman

June, 2019

Book Review
The Mirror of Magic
A History of Magic in the Western World
Author Kurt Seligman
Original Copyright date 1948

Mirror
of Magic is a comparative religion book. It starts with Mesopotamia
and goes all the way to the 18th century.

I’m one of those people that I make lots of notes whenever I’m reading a book. So, with this book, I’ve made seven pages of notes. In one of the notes that I made on Mesopotamia, it talks about how the Gods were always reminded of the misfortune of mortals. I did find it interesting that back in Mesopotamia, there is no moral distinction between good or bad, or light and dark, spiteful forces could live side by side with charitable ones. It was believed that man would have been prayed to chaos had he not employed the magical arts to protect him against evil influences. In this dualistic world, both evil and good, or light and dark are worshiped alike.

I
had always known in the back of my head that the Jewish faith had
more than one Deity at one point in their history. This book explores
that all of that some of the names of those duties. For me one of the
most telling sentences is in the part of this book, on the Hebrew
faith, is “they were preoccupied with the life to come after
death — unknown to the old religion of Moses. They longed for the
establishment of a heavenly Kingdom that would mark the end of their
hopeless struggle.”

I
also found the chapter on Alchemy interesting, starting with the very
first quote by Basil Valentine: “This operation, like the
ancients, is the truth convenient for women.” Zosimus declared
that knowledge of metals, precious stones incense dated back to the
epic mentioned furtively in the book of Genesis—”The sons of
God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair.” According to
Mr. Seligmann, the ancients (whoever those people maybe) believed
that this was the beginning of alchemy, these were fallen Angels
teaching mortal women the art of alchemy in exchange for mundane
pleasures. The chapter on alchemy even goes on to explore the
philosopher’s stone and Nicholas Flamel. Now with this book being
written in 1948, there is a lot of stuff in it both the old stuff and
about Nicholas Flamel that have now changed, with archaeology and
other Sciences teaching us more about the past. But this is still an
exciting part of the book.

The
chapter in witchcraft I found interesting. There are different parts
of transcripts from trials; there are various things written in court
papers that are presented in this book; I don’t remember seeing or
reading anyplace else. It’s one of the longer chapters in the book,
but it’s informative about history.

There’s so much more exciting stuff in this book that I couldn’t possibly cover it all in this review. But this is a book I’m glad to have in my library. The Mirror of Magic is a book that I will go back and reread, and I’ll write more notes. It is also a book that has led me to research more of the history of magic, paganism, witchcraft, and even Judeo Christian beliefs.

The Mirror of Magic: A History of Magic in the Western World on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Dawn
Borries
 loves
reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org.
Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past
25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook
page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on
Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

Book Review – The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book: Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells by Skye Alexander

May, 2019

Book Review
The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book
Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells
by Skye Alexander
Published by Adams Media
Pages: 301

This
first part of this book covers the basics needed to prepare a novice
for working the spells in the second part. Skye Alexander starts out
by explaining that a spell “is something you do with clarity,
intent, and awareness to generate a result. A spell consists of a set
of thoughts and symbolic actions performed in the physical world to
initiate change on a higher level. Once a change takes place at that
higher level, it filters down and materializes here on earth.”

“Spellcasting,”
she writes, “is a method; it’s a secular activity with no dogma
attached to it. … and everyone possesses magical ability.” Spells
are done by people across many cultures and religions. They can be as
simple as making a wish before blowing out candles on a birthday cake
or saying a prayer to casting a spell that requires time
to formulate, research, write and execute.

Readers of The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book: Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells will be introduced to 13 steps for successful spellwork, techniques to hone the ability to sense energy, helpful tools, astrological magic and creating sacred space. Sections also cover the power of words; working with spirits, deities and other beings; and tapping into energy by aligning with nature and the universe using gemstones and botanicals.

Part
II contains spells for the three most requested intentions – love,
money and protection – in addition to spells for healing,
self-improvement and success. There are spells to do with others and
spells for the sabbats – more than 125 in all – involving
incantations, potions and charms. For each, Alexander gives a short
intro, a list of tools and ingredients, the best time to perform the
spell, and understandable directions.

A
spell to release sadness involves flying a kite and one for success
entails making a talisman with three rune symbols painted in gold on
three gemstones corresponding with an objective and keeping them in a
gold pouch wrapped with a red ribbon with intentions knotted in.

Practitioners
of all levels will find the correspondence charts useful for
incorporating the magic of astrology, and ingredients for various
intentions.

The
book does a good job of introducing the subject. It concludes with
eight pages dedicated to “Taking the Next Step.” Alexander
stresses practice, gives steps for creating spells from scratch and
encourages readers to craft ingredients.

“Knowledge
is power, as the saying goes. The more knowledge you have, the more
powerful you’ll become as a spellworker,” she writes.

About the author Skye Alexander :

Skye Alexander is the award-winning author of more than thirty fiction and nonfiction books, including Your Goddess Year,The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need, The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book, The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire, The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot, and The Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells. Her stories have been published in anthologies internationally, and her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is also an artist, writing teacher, feng shui practitioner, astrologer, and tarot reader. She divides her time between Texas and Massachusetts.

The book gets a 4.7 out of 5 by 59 customer reviews on Amazon.

The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book: Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Lynn
Woike
 was
50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before
she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She
draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her
Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae,
Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling
from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses
Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making
her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the
work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with
her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can
follow her boards on Pinterest,
and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

May, 2019

May 2019 for Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

Bright
Blessings

I
write this with a sore back from beginning the garden. I have planted
seeds for snow peas, radishes, milkweed, and sunflowers so far, and a
few packs of annuals as well. I nabbed more seeds, ordered three more
seed catalogs, and got a couple of hot pink pots!

Not
bad for the first week of gardening.

This
year, I am doing the unthinkable! I am killing a mint plant!

I’m
doing it so I can pull a shrub behind it and use the space for more,
well…PLANTS! The roots of the mint would take over the space the
second the shrub is pulled, so the mint goes first!

I
planted it, against proper advice in the ground, instead of in a pot,
way back in 2006! It’s a 13 year old plant, and it’s not happy
with me, as I pour pan full after pan full of boiling water on it. I
am determined to do this with no chemicals, and with my bad back,
digging is not an option.

I
also got a start on my fork plantings. You read that right. Forks. I
have a schnauzer mix, and a little cat who like to LAY right on top
of my plants, but they can’t if I have forks in the garden around
the plants, can they? Although the seeds have yet to sprout, I placed
48 brand new, shiny white plastic forks in the radish bed today. I’ll
gather more later this week and finish.

Then,
I have more soil to buy, more pots, and some soil to lay around a
shady area where I will put more seeds.

A
garden witch never stops gardening!

Beltane

In
years past, I have written about historical observances not only in
Ireland, but also Wales. I’ve written about doing group, and
solitary ritual.

What
I have not written about, however, is to do a smaller-scale group
ritual for it utilizing some traditional practices, but not all of
them.

Much
focus in groups is on the May Queen and King, and the Maypole Dance.

This
time, I’ll write the ritual I am going to use when my small group
of friends arrives.

Beltane
is a lot of things to a lot of different people. For me, it’s a
very big deal, and sometimes, the only Sabbat I actually prepare for.

Here is an article from past years outlining a more complex ritual we used, and some more historical information as well.

This year, instead of focusing on historic meaning, I will talk about the things Spring does to our bodies that makes us feel good

Feel
So Good

What
is it about warmer days, and growing things that make us feel so much
better, and that make us look forward to it anyhow? Why do we feel
more energy, get sick less often, get out and do more, and just
overall, feel happier in warmer days?

Science!

Before
I list all of this, I will note I know people who have Seasonal
Affective Disorder in the warm months. Their bodies do not handle the
heat or strong sun well, and they crave Winter. I validate their
struggles, and understand they have these issues. This is called
Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.

This article breaks it down nicely, and explains it well.

What
my friends who have Reverse SAD have told me is they cannot
physically endure heat, strong light, and humidity in the humid
regions. Some have issues with insects eating them alive, and others
just can’t sleep when it is warm or hot. Allergies from growing
plants can also absolutely destroy people.

For
the people who do not have issues with warmer days, and the things
that come along, several things happen that make us feel better!

  1. More birdsong- It somehow promotes well-being. Further reinforcing the interconnectedness of all life us Witches and Pagans have known all about all along. Hearing that when you first wake up is amazing.
  2. Longer days- Especially folk who struggle with vitamin D deficiency, these days are most welcome. Many of us get enough Vitamin D from food or supplements, but in warmer seasons, the sun gives us even more. Some have issues absorbing vitamins from food, and LIVE for days when they can soak up some sun. According to an awesome article, fair skinned folk can catch a few minutes of sun in the afternoon. People who are a darker tan, 15-20 minutes, and people who are dark need up to six times more sun exposure than fair skinned people. Here is the article I found that information in if you want to read more about the sun and its help with Vitamin D.
  3. We get out and about more- Even though we have paved streets and walks, going out when the weather is yucky is just something we don’t do as much of because it’s a pain in the butt. There are nice events to attend, including festivals, outdoor concerts, and parties. Sabbats are held outdoors more often in warmer months, and a lot of people enjoy life more when they are going more places, and participating in more things.
  4. Flowers and animals abound- Now, some of us love the look of nature no matter what the season, but you have to admit, unless pollen or allergies are killing you, getting out with flowers, trees, and seeing the animals out and about too creates a sense of well-being. The earth is teeming with life and activity, and as Pagans and Witches, we are sensitive to the life-forces of other beings, and it strengthens us. We are all connected.
  5. Cold triggers pain- If you have injuries, joint issues, arthritis, back problems, etc, cold flares up that pain oftentimes, and warmer weather is easier on your body. Some of you know this all too well, and I wish complete healing, and no more pain for you!
  6. Less illness- Being closed in to avoid cold keeps us in more close quarters with one another, and contagious viruses and bacteria enjoy jumping from person to person. As we are less cooped up when it starts getting warmer, we share less germs.

Basically,
for many of us, nature is easier on our bodies come Springtime than
it was in Winter, and thus we feel better, can do more things, and
enjoy ourselves more.

That’s
a big reason to celebrate!

Before
I share my simple Beltane rite, I would like to share an interview I
was fortunate enough to have with a distinguished Pagan, and review
of an amazing Pagan ran establishment.

International
Pagan Radio and Onyx

International
Pagan Radio

International
Pagan Radio, or IPR is something I’d heard about because one of my
elders, Lady Brigid, has her own show, called Ask A Witch, on the
Radio. I knew it was a great organization, but I don’t listen to
radio shows, because of my hearing loss.

Here is the online link to find IPR.

I did go and listen to it to review it, and the show I caught was our beloved Raven Grimassi and his loved one talking to listeners not too long before he crossed the veil. They were sharing their love and appreciation for all the support they have gotten from the community. It’s like they knew he was about to cross over.

If
that is not enough to make you want to go listen right now, I can
tell you they have good music as well. Today is April 9, 2019, and
the agenda for today is Druidcast, The Magick Jukebox, and The Rift
and others. The available song is Black Swan Blues by SJ Tucker.
Honestly, this is something that every Pagan ought to know about, and
listen to. They have not only educational broadcasts, and music, but
messages from Pagans to Pagans. All for us by us! The best part is
the sound was crisp and clear, and I had no trouble hearing almost
everything, which is very good for me. You must go check out IPR
right away, and tell everybody about it!

Onyx

The
way I did this interview, as I do all my interviews is online. I send
questions, and the people either e-mail, or text me back. It’s
worked out well, as I am hard of hearing, and they can send me
answers when they have time. Sometimes, we do a whole interview in an
hour or less, and sometimes, we send messages back and forth over a
course of days. I also get 100% accuracy, as I am not worried about
mishearing what they say! I can be lazy, and copy and paste as
opposed to typing it all out when it is time to submit the interview
to my editor also!

Some
people, most especially film makers, have flat out refused to do
e-mail or text interviewing, and I have found people who write are so
used to writing, that an online interview is right up their alley!
Onyx granted the online interview, and instead of answering one
question at a time, wrote a beautiful statement I am proud to share
with you here. It speaks for itself!

“I
was working as the station manager for another Pagan network that
operated on Blog Talk Radio in 2015. I was approached by a guy to
manage a streaming station as well. This streaming station was to be
launched under my supervision and management as International Pagan
Radio. I agreed to take the job if I could also bring along William
Brigley. William and I had met at another network, and we had been
working together for some time. We had also become very good friends.

The
agreement was that I would manage the station with total autonomy and
our benefactor would pay the bills. William and I set out to create a
website and build the station. The station originally operated with
only donated music. We would approach artists and ask them if they
would allow us to play their music without royalties. The benefactor
wanted us to keep the cost minimal.

About
six months after launch, our benefactor informed us that he could no
longer afford the station. William and I proposed that we take over
ownership to keep the station online. Our benefactor agreed to
release all rights to the station to us.

William
and I changed a few things about the station. We decided that it was
not fair to the artists to only play donated music. We created an
account with Sound Exchange for them to manage the distribution of
royalties. We pay them for this service, and they ensure that the
royalties are distributed properly.

I
am the station manager for IPR. My responsibilities include managing
the Sound Exchange account, the bank account, station schedule,
shows, and any advertisers we may encounter. I also manage the back
end of the website and domain. We do not actively seek advertisers
but do have a rate card available if asked.

William
is the media manager. His responsibilities include more of the
technical aspects, such as website design and implementation,
ensuring that all the songs have the correct metadata embedded so the
reporting system will pick them up properly (for royalty reporting to
Sound Exchange), contacting and maintaining relationships with
artists, image design, and training videos for hosts and artists.

William
and I are co-owners of the station and share the financial
responsibility for all expenses. We pay for the streaming service,
the domain, the website, and all royalties out of pocket. We have
entertained soliciting advertisers, but have not actively done so.

International
Pagan Radio reaches out to all parts of the world, and anyone with an
internet connection can listen to us. Most of the artists whose music
we play are from the United States. However, we have artists from the
United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia, and Spain as well. In
addition to streaming music we also have several shows that can be
heard as well. Our shows are assigned a day of the week and are
streamed three times during that day to help ensure that fans in
differing time zones can catch the shows.

In
addition to our website, we also maintain a large Facebook presence.
We have both a public group and a page. In addition to our public
Facebook entities, we maintain private groups as well. We have one
group that is dedicated to the artists so they can interact with us
and each other. There is also a private group for the IPR team that
consists of the staff and the show hosts.

Neo-paganism
found me over three decades ago. I was raised primarily Southern
Baptist, but could never really internalize the teachings and
doctrine. When I encountered Neo-paganism it was like coming home
(yes, so cliché’).

In
the past, I have been among the High Priesthood of a few different
traditions. I have established and ran several temples and covens
over the years. I have trained, initiated and elevated many others
along the way as well. Have officiated handfastings, legal marriages,
funerals, memorials, birthing, and naming ceremonies, and coming of
age rituals.

Currently,
I consider myself more of an Omniest than a Pagan. As an “Omniest”
I feel that wisdom is not limited to one religious form. I find
wisdom in all forms of religious expression. I tell folks that I am
an Omniest that chooses to express his spirituality through Neo-pagan
traditions and ritual.

I
am the father to three (two daughters and a son) and the grandfather
to one (a baby boy). I have lived in the Winston Salem, North
Carolina, area for just over ten years. Most of my childhood was
spent in the upstate area of South Carolina. The first twelve years
of my adult life was spent serving in the United States Army. Since
leaving the Army, I have worn many hats. I owned a metaphysical shop
for a few years until it was destroyed by fire. I have worked in big
box retail management, and also in executive sales.

I
hold both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in psychology with a
specialization in conflict resolution. I am enrolled in a doctoral
course. However, I am currently taking a break from school work.
Hopefully, I will return to school shortly and complete the Doctor of
Psychology degree.

I
am not actively involved in the local Pagan community, so the station
is my ministry. I very much like the fact that we have listeners all
over the world and have heard from many of them. Many tell me that
this station is nearly their only contact with the Pagan community.”

Many thanks to Onyx for sharing his beautiful story with us, and for all his good work for IPR!

The
Working

As
promised, I am sharing the working I will use when my soul kin come
to gather with me for our Beltane. I will have a team effort to bless
food and drink, and ask the powers that be for some good magic,
healing, and goodness all around at this time of life, beginnings,
and great strength.

Here
is the working.

Have
two volunteers stand at either side of the entryway of where you have
your rite. For me, it will be my front door. You can do male and
female to keep with Wiccan practice, representing Mother Goddess and
Father God, but for me, it is going to depend on who is there and who
wants to volunteer.

These
two people will each hold something to bless with. It could be a
stick of incense for one person, and a candle held by the other.
Instead of having a Priest and Priestess bless these things, we will
all join hands and say a prayer, each of us, for the blessings we
wish for one another. Saying something as simple as “Blessed Be”
as people pass through the fires, or something more like a chant or
song you like can also be used, but as the people have blessed the
things, no words have to be said unless you want to.

After
this, people will form a line and pass between the two people with
their blessed things, emulating the scared practice of passing
between the blessed fires ancient British Pagans used to use.

Once
everybody has passed between the blessing fires, everybody will go to
two others, whoever has volunteered. This will be a blessing of
“cakes and ale”. Again, we will all take turns saying the prayer,
over them, blessing them. I am probably not going to have wine or
soda or sweets for this. Let’s face it, none of us is getting
younger. There are people coming with dietary restrictions,
allergies, and digestive issues. Plus, we don’t need to be drinking
after each other- germs, you know! As we are potlucking it, we will
take food to make a plate from the offerings, maybe even a variety,
so people can hand pick the food THEY choose to eat. Instead of a
communal cup for us all to drink from, individual tiny cups filled
with probably water, will be used. It really does not matter WHAT the
food and liquid is- it’s the blessings we will take into us.

Once
all is blessed, each person will approach who is giving the blessed
food, and the person doing this will say “May you never hunger,”
and each person in turn will take their blessed bite of food and eat
it. I’ve seen people use whole apples for ritual blessing, and I
don’t recommend it, as that takes forever. Also, cut the food up
into small pieces, so people can take just a tiny bite. They will
then go to the person who has the water, who will give them a water,
and say “May you never thirst.” Again, this should be a tiny bit
of water, enough for one sip. This is not the meal, but just a sip
and a nibble.

A
third blessing can also be given if so desired, by an individual or
individuals. Play it by ear, and see how your soul kin feel. This can
be perhaps the moving party of the rite, most especially when beloved
Priest and Priestess do the blessings. A simple way would be for
everybody to hug one another. You can also break off in twos and go
bless each other for a few minutes, walking away from the group, and
returning to a spot when everybody is finished.

After
each person has passed between the blessed fires, had their blessed
food and drink, and been further blessed if it is wished, the rite is
ended, and the feasting and fellowship begins.

This
rite can be customized as you see fit, as it is simple, and you can
tweak it any way that is meaningful for you. I have had to change how
I do ritual in the past few years. The biggest change is my condo
association has made it clear no fires are allowed on patios. There
went our blessed firepit! I also do rituals at the house as opposed
to at the campgrounds we used to use, so we moved into a smaller
space than before. We manage. Ritual can be meaningful even if you
have to make accommodations and substitute something like two candles
for two bonfires.

May
you and yours have a very Blessed Beltaine.

Blessed
Be!

***

About
the Author:

Saoirse is
a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11,
but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was
called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not
explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing
Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age
studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse,
pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I
serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor
as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and
Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I
received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my
Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently
focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and
Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein
University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s
Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be
reached through my Facebook page Tarot
with Saoirse
. You can, also, join me on my Youtube
Channel
.

Book Review – The Fire Rose: The Elemental Masters Series by Mercedes Lackey

May, 2019

Book Review
The Fire Rose
The Elemental Masters Series
by Mercedes Lackey

This is the
classic story of a young woman, a man and the trials of living with
magic. The concept might be a norm with fantasy fiction, but with
this addition from Mercedes Lackey, we find magic in the rawest form.
Elemental magic.

I have
personally read this book over a 100 times, no joke. It is one of my
earliest exposures to the actual ‘possibility’ of magic existing
in our world.

When I
stepped into the world of Jason and Rose, two totally different
personalities and walks of life, I felt a kinship with Rose. She is a
learned scholar and in the time period of the book that is
practically unheard of.

Now,
picture this:

A
university-taught young woman, raised in Chicago, after losing her
father, has found out the full depth of his debt. He made some rather
shady monetary choices and lost it to a charlatan who had managed to
do the same with all of his other backers.

After
watching all of her worldly possessions being carted off by the bank,
she was taken under the wing of a fellow professor of her father’s.

Enter
Jason. Besides being a very well known rail baron and millionaire,
living on Nob Hill in California-he is also a Fire Master.

He made a
very foolish choice, after thinking that he had enough magical power,
to attempt a werewolf-loupe Garou (1) spell that would allow him to
change between werewolf form and human form at will; while still
retaining his human mind. This failed in a way he never expected. It
left him unable to read, write or practice magic fully due to the
changes he created.

Enter Paul
du Mond, a selfish and perverse man who is also Jason’s protegee –
working to become a Fire Master himself. He is quite prolific in his
various diversions to acquire power. He feels like the elemental
powers should be his without the regular work and patience involved
to rise in power to a Master of Fire as well. He is also Jason’s
secretary who handles the business that Jason cannot due to his
hubris (2).

There is
another Fire Master, Simon Beltaire, who believes as Paul does that
magical power can be derived from sex magic and pain. He lives in San
Francisco. After enticing Paul with offers of teaching his way of
magic, he turns Paul against Jason, while turning Paul into a spy.

After
Rose’s father passed away, a letter was sent to her “knight of
shining armor” from Jason outlining his need a scholar to help read
for him, under the pretext of needing a governess for children he
didn’t have. Feeling like all she was able to do was to teach, this
offer felt too good to be true, she accepted the offer with some
concern.

Off to
California, she goes!

I could
simply say that I love this book, however it’s more than that. This
book fueled my teenage years with joy and happiness. A world that I
could travel to and escape my reality.

In addition
to this, I was also just beginning to learn about magic and things of
the occult. This also happened to be the only way I could “learn”
about the Craft in a way that wouldn’t upset my parents.(I’m not
advocating hiding anything from parents at all!)

All in all,
this is a good read and a lovely way to spend an afternoon curled up
with a cuppa, and a snack! Read with an open mind and you’ll find
magic everywhere!

(1)https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loup-garou

(2) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hubris

The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters Book) on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

My name is Krys, I’ve been living the Pagan life for 19 years. I am a wife and stay at home mom to one teen. I am an ordained minister/ Priestess, and head of the Cyber Moon Coven of Changes. After many years as a practicing Christian, I found paganism to be a more suitable path, personally. A few years and covens later, I found that being open to the online community was becoming more important to me.

After struggling to find a coven that was not just “rules” and “roles”. A few attempts later, I began the Cyber Moon Coven. An online and real life coven, with a ‘no strings attached policy’. You can find my group on Facebook. (Cyber Moon Coven of Changes)

An Excerpt from A Modern Celt: Inspiration from the Elf Mounds by Mabh Savage

May, 2019

Inspiration
from the Elf Mounds

*An Excerpt from A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors by Mabh Savage

So,
what winds whisper from the elf mounds; what wind breathes from
beneath the hollow hills where fairies dwell and myths were born? In
other words, how many of us today still feel inspired by the tales of
ancient Celtic warriors and wise folk? Which parts of our lives do
these stories creep into the most? What do our ancestors still truly
have a hand in? What is the meat
of modern Celtic influence?

Well
a quick “Google” search on the word “Celt” will find you
brewing techniques that are based on Celtic history; BBC Wales has a
site dedicated to the history of the Iron Age Celts and the word CELT
is used as an acronym by organisations in fields ranging from
teaching to audio compression! Let’s take a look at the images
section now: maps of the Celtic migration across Europe; knot work;
helmets; warriors fighting in great battles; beards, shields and
swords; jewelry,
sandals and musical instruments.

Take
a look around when you’re out and about and see how many tattoos
you see that incorporate Celtic knot work, and how many sterling
silver Celtic crosses you can see in the windows of jewelers.
When the paths were resurfaced outside a new housing estate near
where I live, there were some elder trees, ancient and gnarled, that
were untouched even though they were growing right out of the
pavement that otherwise was completely dug out and overhauled. If the
trees were left untouched for superstitious reasons (oh how I wish I
could talk to the people who did that stretch of road!) those
superstitions almost certainly stem from the Celtic reverence for
certain trees.

This
seems to be carried into the names of local establishments. Without
traveling
more than a couple of miles in any direction, I can visit Copper
Beech Nursery; Hollybush Children’s Centre; Holly Bush Farm
Conservation Centre; Beech Medical Centre. My own doctor is housed
within the Hawthorn Medical Centre! These names show how the
importance we still place upon trees, which almost certainly stems
from our Celtic ancestors. The druidic reverence for certain trees
led Robert Graves to create the Celtic Tree Calendar which, somewhat
unfortunately, has become used as an actual “Celtic Calendar” for
some people- it has no real basis in Celtic timekeeping or astrology,
but it does, again, show how deeply we are influenced by accounts of
Celtic society and how much we want to recreate aspects of that in
our modern lives.

Sir
Terry Pratchett, an incredibly popular British author, created the
“Lords and Ladies”, elves that while being beautiful are fierce,
ruthless and inhuman. There are similarities here of course to the
Fae, who are often described as incredibly beautiful and powerful,
yet they too are not quite human. They also can possess great
cruelty, as in the story of the death of Cían, Lugh’s father, who
is stoned to death in hatred by a rival family until all that is left
is a “poor miserable, broken heap” (Gregory,
Lady Augusta. Gods and Fighting Men: The story of the Tuatha de
Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, arranged and put into English.
1905
).

Terry also created the Nac Mac Feegle, who actually live inside the burial mounds of kings, harking back to the tales that the fairies will take you under the hollow hills to their home. In these tales, often the protagonist finds what they believe is their heart’s desire but returns a hundred years later, to find everyone they love is dead and gone. In one of Terry Pratchett’s stories, this would probably be because the Nac Mac Feegle had drunk them under a tiny table! Pratchett himself implies in his introduction to “The Folklore of Discworld” that tales and superstitions should not be forgotten as they are part of the history of who we are and how we got here.

Any homage to these ancient
tales is a great example of the way Celtic culture still inspires
modern artists and writers. Through their modern art, they will
inspire others to go seek out these ancient tales for themselves. We
see the same stories being used over and over in a thousand different
ways, keeping them alive to pass down to our children and future
descendants.

If you enjoyed this, Mabh’s
books are available on Amazon
and at all good bookstores.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Mabh
Savage
 is
a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She
is the author of A
Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors
& Pagan
Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways
.

Witch & Popcorn

May, 2019

I’d
heard a filmmaker named Penny Lane was releasing a documentary about
The Satanic Temple, and I was stoked. Then, I heard it did well!
Imagine how thrilled I then was when our beloved editor told me we
had been offered the opportunity to review it!

Here
is the Trailer:

I
know. I know.

Some
of you are balking at the nerve- Satanists! Some, not just Xtians,
believe what the media and mainstream Evangelicals tell us the Church
of Satan and The Satanic Temple is all about- devil worship. Nothing
could be farther from the truth, as this intimate portrait of some of
the chapters of The Satanic Temple reveals.

The
film follows the idea to place a Satanic monument in the State
Capital of Arkansas- not to proselytize or convert people to
Satanism- but to promote religious equality. They have a lawsuit
going to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the State government
grounds, and stated if the Xtain monument goes up- ALL religious
monuments ought to go up. And those of us who watch the news know
that was turned down. The lawsuit continues.

The
process of creating the statue was shown, and the way the Satanic
Temple (TST) raised funds to pay for it. Namingly, through donations,
and what they earn at a shop.

Not
only co-founder and spokesperson of TST, Lucien Greaves, but many
members, some of whom opted to remain anonymous, grant interviews for
this film, but they gave a unified message. TST is looking for
government to be secular, and for the government not to preach
religion, or give religious preference, as it currently does. TST
members embrace personal liberty, justice, and rebellion against
oppressive practices and arbitrary authority. Satanism is about
embracing independence, and not being controlled by other people.

In
the documentary, many news stories about what various TST chapters
are doing for their greater communities is shown, including not only
lawsuits, but after school Satan clubs, highway adoption, beach
cleanup, menstrual product gathering and donation, sock gathering and
donation to the homeless, as well as blood drives.

This
is a stark contrast from the “Satanic Panic’s” claims of the
1980’s and 1990’s! Remember when Dungeons and Dragons games
supposedly opened a portal to suck kids souls to hell? One thing you
might not know is this era saw innocent people jailed for things they
did not do, and multiple lives ruined in the process. TST members who
spoke of it compared the 20th Century’s “Satanic
Panic” to the witch hunts of Medieval times.

So,
it’s well-established you won’t see a Satanist do the things
spooky movies and uninformed “god hates fags” sign- wielding
Evangelicals claim. Aside from doing the above-mentioned community
service work, you will see them embracing seven tenets outlined in
the film, which are:

  1. One
    should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all
    creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The
    struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should
    prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One’s
    body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  4. The
    freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to
    offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of
    another is to forego your own.
  5. Beliefs
    should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We
    should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our
    beliefs.
  6. People
    are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify
    it, and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
  7. Every
    tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action
    and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should
    always prevail over the written or spoken word.

This organization, of course stemmed out of Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan, founded on April 30, 1966. He may be the most famous, if not the most notorious leader the organization has had, and most certainly the most colorful. In his Satanic Bible, which, no doubt ruffled more than a few feathers, he stated he saw men go to drink, see strippers, and whatnot- all the things Xtianity forbade in those days- and then sit up in church Sunday with wives and kids as if they were model Xtians. It left quite an impression on LaVey, who chose Satan as the archetype for his new religion- not to WORSHIP the devil- but he said Satan kept the church in business, and most honestly embodied the true nature of humanity. Thus instead of deprivation, as the churches taught, LaVey sought to embrace our passions, desires, intellect, and animal side, as we were born to do.

Perhaps
The original Church of Satan was an occult response of sorts to the
“Free Love” movement, but it’s one that speaks to people still,
today. TST and The Church of Satan are two completely different
entities, but they have some similarities, and I respect them both.

In
Hail Satan?, you will see various legal battles multiple TST chapters
have waged in the name of justice, and you will hear personal stories
from devoted members. You will also witness a very impassioned
chapter administrator violate policies of TST, and be fired.

Despite
some beliefs TST is a small cult, it has a National Council, and
dozens of chapters nationwide, as well as international chapters, and
a well-organized system.

The
big question many ask- if TST is not evil and all about destruction,
WHY call it by the name Satan, who many believe is the greatest evil
ever?

Remember
what Anton LaVey said about Satan being a fitting archetype for man’s
true nature for one thing. For another thing, members are
deliberately trying to jolt people’s awareness, and they do not
mind offending people. They have been called the Antichrist, and one
member says that IS half true. They protest the atrocities the church
has imposed upon humanity for so long. Beyond that, they protest, and
reject the mind control and oppression the church has enforced.
Catholic groups seem especially fond of protesting TST chapters, and
one member says they have a lot of gall calling Satanics sinful after
all the abuse and rapes of children. Satan was known as the
adversary- so the church and the oppression she enforces HAS an
adversary in The Satanic Temple- which is quite pro-human.

TST
is among many things, pro-individual, against blind faith, pro-gay,
pro-choice, anti-rape, pro-trans, and all for questioning that which
is forbidden.

Some
ask why TST does not just call themselves atheists if they do not
worship the devil? One member states atheism just states what you are
NOT. There is no ritual or definition. TST defines everything and
gives ritual and structure.

Some
don’t know this, but I have read more than one Satanic publication
over the years, and while I’m not a member, I am in agreement with
their beliefs and practices. I have friends who are also, one of whom
agreed to a short interview.

Interview
with Jodi @ Satanism

SaoirseWhat first drew you to The Church of Satan, or The Satanic
Temple’s teachings?

Jodi-
Curiosity as a child in contrast to what I was
being brainwashed with by fundamentalists. I first picked up LaVey in
middle school or so. A mixture of curiosity and rebellion. I met
other kids who were interested in high school. That’s what those
thumpers get.

Saoirse-
Did the adults raising you find out perchance?

Jodi-
Yes. My mother was absolutely mortified when
she discovered my copy of The Satanic Bible, hidden with my
cigarettes in my dresser. Naturally, she ordered me to stop and go to
church but…fail. Only made my quest that much more enticing. Mother
had many books that warned against Satanic & occult teachings. In
the beginning, I used these as cross-references to find the knowledge
I was seeking. Those books of hers were so funny to me….the titles
and all.

Saoirse-
People who were ignorant raised me also. I did not wake up until I
was in my 20’s. Late!

Jodi-
I think that’s pretty normal.

No
matter what path you choose…to not start to really branch out of
the family illusion

Until
the mid-twenties or so.

I
was teaching Catholicism to school kids during my twenties even
though I was a practicing witch. It was sort of a marital obligation
thing, I though and the director or religion was DESPERATE.

He
called me an Angel… lmao. He regretted that…especially when he
learned I was encouraging children to wait til adulthood to get
confirmed.

Saoirse-
Catholicism and witchcraft go very well together.

Jodi-
I agree.

Saoirse-
I agree. You cannot GIVE anybody to a god or goddess. All baptisms
and confirmations belong in adulthood.

Jodi-
Amen. The church puts too much pressure on kids. Not to
mention, indoctrination is bullshit.

Saoirse-
Exactly.

Jodi-
The way is to choose for the self. One of many reasons I embrace the
teachings.

Saoirse-
What is a favorite Satanic teaching of yours?

Jodi-
I like the contrast of putting those who move
to harm you in their place over the xtian turning the other cheek.
There is much to be said for compassion and forgiveness, yes but also
standing up for one’s self, remorselessly.

Our
culture has been conditioned to take too much shit…which is part of
the reason we are all suffering in this age. We are used to being
walked on and told what to do.

Living
in fear isn’t living

Saoirse-
Exactly.

Jodi-
Satanism encourages a healthy lifestyle and self-esteem.

Some
of this depends on what variety of Satanism we’re talking about,
but you understand.

Saoirse-
What has embracing these tenets
and teachings done for your life?

Jodi-
They have made a way for me to learn of and about myself and others
in a respectful manner. They’ve crushed the early indoctrination I
was force-fed as a child and allowed me to rebuild my own opinions
and Will. It made a way for what I want for my life versus what
others expect or condone.

The
verdict on this is it is one of the best documentaries I have ever
seen, and it did my heart good to see the beautiful people of TST,
and all the wonderfulness they are spreading within their
organization, and in their communities in general.

This
film is a must see.

Here is the link to the films page, and how you can see this for yourself!

Happy
viewing, and Blessed Be!

***

About
the Author:

Saoirse is
a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11,
but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was
called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not
explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing
Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age
studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse,
pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I
serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor
as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and
Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I
received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my
Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently
focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and
Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein
University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s
Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be
reached through my Facebook page Tarot
with Saoirse
. You can, also, join me on my Youtube
Channel
.

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